Isabel Marant, over a seven-hour lamb, launches menswear
Isabel Marant has launched a menswear collection and a good look at the clothes tells you one of three things: the clothes have all the practical rocker cool and bohemian gypsy groove that one expects from Marant; every look is imbued with her signature DNA and the collection seems destined to follow in the footsteps of her women’s collections. Meaning, expect the collection to be a huge hit.
“I decided to create a collection because I was fed up with my guy pals and my male staff complaining when they looked at my women’s collections, ’Oh, if you made the neck larger I would wear that. Or, if you cut this coat two sizes bigger, it would fit me; or add full pockets and we would wear this.’ And, I thought, okay I will!” laughed Marant at an intimate dinner Tuesday night in her loft style showroom in Place des Victoires.
The result: pale gray redingotes in a striped wool that almost looked bias cut; floral hippie shirts; an excellent series of khaki safari jackets and some great Western jackets with Comanche imagery.
She insisted that she did not want complicated clobber. And the Marant oeuvre has never been fussy. “Men’s clothes have inspired my women’s fashions for years. So, this is giving it back to them. This is a translation for me,” expounded Marant, who founded her house in 1994.
“There is also something a little gypsy and traveller. That’s me,” added Marant, dressed in tight gray jeans and an oversized and flawlessly cut mannish tuxedo jacket.
The plan is to introduce the menswear via online sales and in sections of her existing stores - like in Bon Marché in Paris.
“I design the line myself, though I did get some great help from Barnabé Hardy. But, as you can see, it is very much me,” said Marant with her legendary wide smile.
The collection marks the first major move by Marant since she sold half of her company to business fund Montefiore Investment, in July 2016. An executive from Montefiore, Anouck Duranteau-Loeper, is now the CEO of Marant, which is witnessing a steady growth in sales and in its boutique network.
“You know at a certain point if you don’t keep growing you start to fade. This investment will allow us to expand in the way that we should do,” stressed Marant, whose company’s annual sales are some 200 million euros.
This past year alone, Marant opened in stores in Oslo and Miami and, of course, some in China. “We don’t have a huge stake there, but even a tiny bit of China can be a lot of business!” she chuckled.
“For the menswear, I did not want the clothes to look too new. People don’t want to have to think too much about what they need to wear in the morning,” she concludes, ashing her roll-up in an oyster shell. Before 40 fashion insiders sat down to seven-hour lamb and a rocking mini concert by French singer Lomepal.
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